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It’s possibly one of the greatest frustrations of every PE teacher – the busy changing room, hustling children to get ready to start learning, and then a child sidles over to you to say they haven’t got their kit! In this article, we explore how to deal with these situations, and also how to break the stereotypical use of borrowed kits.

Clear kit policy

The first consideration is ensuring you have published a clear and concise kit policy, which is shared with staff, students and parents. This is essential to warrant that the students are fully aware of the expectations of what to bring and when. If parents are also aware of the expectations, they will be able to support their child in getting it right.

Your kit policy should clearly outline exactly what PE kit is required, and give clear examples of acceptable forms of kit. Ask form tutors to remind their groups when they have PE lessons regularly, especially the younger year groups who still may be adapting to secondary life.

Your kit policy should also reference sports and activities which may require specialist equipment, such as a swimming kit, studded boots or gum guards. Ensure you are giving students and parents ample notice of when these lessons are, and where they can purchase the equipment.

Is the kit appropriate?

The second consideration is to ensure that the kit is appropriate to take part in physical activity, but also that it meets the needs of the students. Very short hockey skirts or tight shorts may put some female students off wearing the kit, whilst very stiff and heavy material on rugby shirts may hinder movement. The PE kit you ask students to wear should be lightweight, comfortable and easy to launder.

A big decision your PE department has to make is how to deal with students who have forgotten their PE kit. You may choose to have a supply of spare kit which can be lent to students, but this must be clean, available in a variety of sizes, and include appropriate footwear or trainers. A pupil who has genuinely forgotten their kit may be pleased with the opportunity to rectify their mistake and be allowed to participate, whilst a pupil who may be tempted to ‘forget’ their kit as a means of lesson avoidance will know that the provision of spare kit means they will end up participating anyway!

The provision of spare kit ensures that all students can take part in your lesson, which is the ultimate goal of every PE department, but may raise the issues of both compliance and logistics – as teachers, we simply don’t have the time to be washing, drying and organising spare kit every week. Could your school dedicate some hours to a technician or a clearer to support in this role? Could sports leaders support these tasks before or after school? Could any student who is serving a departmental detention be tasked with organising the spare kit?

Whether you and your department decide to operate a spare kit policy or not, the policy must be clearly defined and shared with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that your kit expectations can be met by parents and pupils alike.

Take advantage of PE Office 

With its comprehensive resource library, PE Office can provide a PE department with a variety of solutions to address the issue of students forgetting their kits. The platform offers a range of ready-made lesson plans and activities that can be adapted to accommodate students without their full kit, ensuring that learning continues uninterrupted.

Additionally, PE Office provides access to a wealth of online resources, such as videos, drills, and games, which can be utilised to engage students and promote physical activity without relying on traditional equipment. By leveraging PE Office’s extensive resources, PE departments can effectively manage the challenge of students forgetting their kits and maintain a vibrant and inclusive learning environment for all students. Take a look at the resources on offer here